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February, 2021

Focus of the Month

Dental Disease
Dental disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth which can lead to gingivitis (irritation of the gums). If left untreated, your pet is susceptible to tooth damage and damage to structures around the tooth.

Most pets have some degree of dental disease by the age of three.

Symptoms:
Early-stage symptoms are bad breath, red / swollen gums and visible tartar build-up. Pets are good at hiding pain and express it in different ways. Some may become irritable, lethargic or hide; others refuse to eat, or consistently rub a particular area.

When doing an oral exam, we sometimes find an animal has loose or missing teeth. Often this is a result of dental disease. If left untreated, dental disease can become a chronic, potentially deadly issue.

Diagnosing dental disease:
When performing the dental prophylaxis we sedate your pet and put them under general anesthetic. From there we are able to see possible problems that were not visible with a routine oral exam. While under the anesthetic we recommend doing dental radiographs (x-rays), to be sure there are no additional problems under the gums, such as root resorption.

Treatment:
To treat dental disease, we first remove tartar, then use a scaler to clean the teeth and under the gum line to ensure all plaque is removed. When a tooth is rotten, loose or broken, a veterinarian may choose to remove the tooth. Lastly, we polish and rinse the teeth then apply fluoride.

If needed, we provide pain relief and antibiotics depending on the severity of the gingivitis or whether teeth were extracted.

Prevention:
Getting regular exams will help to catch dental disease before it becomes an issue. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth regularly and providing them with VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approved treats and food.
T/D is a dental food that acts like a tooth brush, mouth wash and tooth paste. The size of the kibble causes most pets to bite into it, the kibble stays on the tooth until the second bite where it breaks off and takes the plaque with it. The food uses enzymes that bind to the plaque causing agents in the saliva and keeps them from forming into tartar and it also keeps their breath fresh.

Some water additives are designed to remove the plaque from your pet’s teeth but do not help with the tartar.
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Our address is:
70 Centre Street, Gimli Manitoba CANADA R0C1B0

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